Mieko and the Fifth Treasure

Mieko and the Fifth Treasure

4.3 8
by Eleanor Coerr
     
 

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When the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Mieko's nearby village was turned into ruins. She and her parents were lucky to have survived, but Mieko's hand was badly injured. Mieko loves to do calligraphy more than anything, but now she can barely hold a paintbrush. And she feels as if she has lost something she can't paint without-the legendary fifth treasure, beauty in

Overview

When the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Mieko's nearby village was turned into ruins. She and her parents were lucky to have survived, but Mieko's hand was badly injured. Mieko loves to do calligraphy more than anything, but now she can barely hold a paintbrush. And she feels as if she has lost something she can't paint without-the legendary fifth treasure, beauty in the heart. Then she is sent to live with her grandparents and must go to a new school where the children tease her about her scarred hand. But Mieko is brave and eventually learns that time and patience can help with many things, and may even help her find the fifth treasure...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The devastating effects of the bombing of Japan described in Coerr's Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes are evoked here in the stirring story of Mieko, a gifted calligrapher and artist. After her hand is badly injured in the bombing, the frightened and embittered girl is sent to stay with her grandparents in the country. Mieko fears she has lost the fifth treasure, the ``beauty in the heart'' which holds the key to her artwork. At her new school, she is taunted by some cruel classmates, and the anger she feels only deepens her sense of misery and loss. Eventually, she is lifted from her dark state by the patience and wisdom of her comforting grandparents and through the friendship of Yoshi, a gentle classmate. Mieko's recovery is further aided by Yoshi's Aunt Hisako, a stern but generous woman who goads Mieko into picking up her brushes once more. (Hisako's disappearance from the story proves mildly confusing, leaving her more of a device than a fleshed-out character.) Overall, this is a sensitively and beautifully crafted story that juxtaposes the strength of Japanese art and philosophy with the complex emotional wake of the bombing. Once again, this author has created a vivid portrait of courage, drawn from a time that deserves to be remembered. Ages 7-11. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Mieko and the Fifth Treasure finds a heroine whose hand is crippled by the Nagasaki bomb. A skillful word-picture artist, Mieko, can work with brush, ink stick, ink stone and rice paper, but she struggles to find the fifth treasure "beauty in the heart." It is the friendship and loving support of those around her that allow Mieko to escape her bitterness and draw with her heart.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-- The four treasures of traditional East Asian calligraphy are brush, inkstick, inkstone, and paper. The ``fifth treasure,'' as Mieko's art teacher has told her, is beauty in the heart, which breathes life into writing word-pictures (characters). Mieko lived in a village outside Nagasaki when the atom bomb was dropped. Flying glass badly damaged her writing hand and now, a few months later, she has been sent to live with her grandparents. Ashamed of her scars and certain she has lost the fifth treasure, Mieko withdraws into herself, rejecting school and her grandparents' efforts to help her heal psychologically. It is the subtle, beneficial influence of her new friend, Yoshi, and her overbearing aunt that helps Mieko overcome her fears and start to face life again. The child's inner and outer conflicts are believably handled, and readers will identify with her struggle towards normalcy after trauma. Much of the plot is obvious, but satisfying. The meeting with Yoshi's aunt is especially heavy-handed. With the plot unfolding in the months immediately after surrender, with Tokyo in ashes, rationing for nearly a decade, the collapse of the economy, and U. S. occupation forces just settling in, the fact that she blithely orders (and receives) luxury writing paper is a strain on credibility. Otherwise, this is a warm, sensitive, and well-written story with wide appeal. --John Philbrook, San Francisco Public Library

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440409472
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/01/1994
Pages:
77
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.24(d)
Lexile:
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 11 Years

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Mieko and the Fifth Treasure 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it. I give it 4 stars because it was great but it didn't give out as much details as i expected. I would reccomend it because it is EXTREMLY interesting. Anybody could easily love it. If you read and liked Sadako And The Thousand Paper Cranes, this is by the same author and i am one hundred percent sure you will LOVE this book. I loved it and i think you will ABSOLUTLY LOVE THIS BOOK TOO!!!:) Even though some parts were REALLY SAD;( i really reccomend this awsome book.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I loved this book. I will be reading another one of her books. CANT WAIT
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do me a favor and read this book. You will cry, you will cheer with joy, and you will read this book!
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